Published: Wed, April 19, 2017
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Election a chance for Scotland to boost mandate for independence vote - Sturgeon

Election a chance for Scotland to boost mandate for independence vote - Sturgeon

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has accused UK Prime Minister Theresa May of using the snap general election to try to push through a 'hard Brexit, ' deeper spending cuts, and move Britain further to the right.

"That means that this will be - more than ever - an election about standing up for Scotland in the face of a right-wing, austerity obsessed Tory government with no mandate in Scotland but which now thinks it can do whatever it wants and get away with it".

Of course, if the Tories do want Scotland to take on the responsibility then let's see all social security powers, and all of the funding used to pay for it, transferred to the Scottish Parliament - that way we can deliver a fair and balanced social security system across the board instead of just trying to clear up the mess.

Business for Scotland CEO Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp said: "Theresa May doesn't have a mandate for the hard Brexit her government is pursuing, so she is now seemingly asking for one".

Dugdale's campaign launch came minutes after the Prime Minister announced a snap general election for June 8.

And when the Tories say these cuts are needed to help balance the books, we should never forget that in the very same budget in which they said there was no money to pay for tax credits, they found the money to cut taxes for the highest earners - a tax cut that the Scottish Tories supported north of the border as well. Since 2015, two SNP MPs have become independent MPs due to legal complications.

A future independence referendum would include whether Scotland would have to commit to eventually joining the euro and if it would have to make an European Union budget contribution without the United Kingdom rebate. Victory for the Conservatives means the prospect of Tory control at Westminster for the next decade or even the next 20 years as Theresa May cashes in on Labour's weakness.

Sturgeon will hope that a strong showing in the June 8 election will strengthen momentum for her independence plans.

Whatever happened to "now is not the time"?

Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale, whose local election manifesto launch was overshadowed by May's announcement on Tuesday morning, said the general election would give Scots a "significant and historic" choice. Straight choice in Scotland between @theSNP and Tories.

There is a clear choice at #ge17.

While polls continue to show the SNP well ahead of all other political parties in Scotland, the nationalists will struggle to replicate the success of the 2015 referendum when they won all but three of the Scottish seats at Westminster.

The Tory leader added: "With Jeremy Corbyn having already said he is "absolutely fine" with an immediate referendum, we also know that Labour can't be relied to stand up to them".

Whether enough Conservatives will vote tactically to keep sole Scottish Labour MP Ian Murray in his Edinburgh seat is hard to discern.

The SNP realise it will be hard to replicate their success in the 2015 election when they took almost every seat in Scotland with almost 50% of the vote.

Ms Davidson welcomed the PM's announcement, saying her party is "ready for a campaign, we are organised, and we are optimistic about the prospect of increasing our number of seats".

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